Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

HHS: O’Connor: What Nerds Can Learn From Wedgies?

Uhh…avoid The (Bob) Melvin at all cost?

Could Dustin Ackley actually have performed worse because of advanced baseball metrics?  Was he on fangraphs late at night looking at his ground ball percentage and his BABIP and wondering if his successes were flukes or his shortcomings were surmountable?  It’s possible, as Ackley is young and plays in a progressive city and just might hear terms like WAR and wOBA tossed around at home and around the batting cage.

More likely, though, Ackley goes about his job largely ignorant of the numbers that claimed he was worthless (though baseball-reference and fangraphs sure liked his defense and baserunning).  Like other non-pitchers, he spends time on the field working on turning ground balls into outs and getting himself on base.

And that’s just it.  It appears that Wedge’s reference to sabermetrics really runs no deeper than on-base percentage.

...We all know Wedge is not alone as a baseball insider questioning the validity of more advanced research and its encroachment on the game, particularly in the front offices from which he receives his marching orders.  When outsiders suggest that a team could be better managed by restructuring lineups, platooning more, or using relief pitchers differently, we’re certainly prone to overlooking the impact of these changes on the actual human beings playing the game.  I’m sure the Reds would win more games if Joey Votto hit second and Zack Cozart hit… I don’t know… 84th, but how would Votto react to being told he needs to leave what he’s always been told is the “heart of the order”?

But does this insider/outsider dichotomy really apply to Ackley’s situation?

I suppose it’s possible that Dustin Ackley knew he was worth close to 3 WAR in his rookie year (3.7 per b-r and 2.9 per fangraphs), then less valuable in 2012 (2.8 and 1.1, respectively) and basically worthless in 2013, and that knowledge crawled under his skin and robbed him of whatever focus and drive made him a valuable player in 2011.  It’s more possible that Ackley was a bit of a mirage in 2011 and when his bat regressed the following season, his career took the same route as so many careers before his, including his manager’s.  This outsider thinks sabermetrics played more of a role in Wedge’s bosses’ decision to demote Ackley than in Ackley’s failures.

Repoz Posted: May 29, 2013 at 01:02 PM | 1 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: sabermetrics

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. bookbook Posted: May 30, 2013 at 12:21 AM (#4455384)
The sabremetrics of noting that hitting .207 with no power or walks is a problem? Wedge's bosses are numerical geniuses.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.



<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF


Thanks to
The Id of SugarBear Blanks
for his generous support.


You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogWhy did Braves trade Andrelton Simmons? | Atlanta Braves blog
(22 - 12:49am, Nov 28)
Last: Zach

(6 - 12:48am, Nov 28)
Last: Bote Man sez $/yr not yr/$$

NewsblogOT - November* 2015 College Football thread
(962 - 12:36am, Nov 28)
Last: AuntBea

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - November 2015
(1289 - 12:33am, Nov 28)
Last: Into the Void

NewsblogOt: 2015-2016 NHL Thread
(19 - 12:33am, Nov 28)
Last: vagab0nd is still a champion

(902 - 12:27am, Nov 28)
Last: David Nieporent (now, with children)

NewsblogWhat awaits in negotiations for Major League Baseball's next labor deal?
(24 - 12:07am, Nov 28)
Last: DL from MN

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-27-2015
(17 - 11:33pm, Nov 27)
Last: Snowboy

NewsblogAlex Gordon a Value Buy in Free Agency | FanGraphs Baseball
(22 - 10:52pm, Nov 27)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogComcast takes shot at Yankees in dispute as cable operator says not many folks watching the games on YES
(16 - 9:10pm, Nov 27)
Last: Bhaakon

NewsblogDisney's 'Bad Dinosaur': ESPN Loses 7 Mil Subscribers
(5 - 8:58pm, Nov 27)
Last: ReggieThomasLives

NewsblogStarting pitchers should throw fewer innings |
(46 - 8:37pm, Nov 27)
Last: Nathaniel Dawson

NewsblogThe 3-man rotation? It's coming ... sometime, says Bill James
(43 - 7:28pm, Nov 27)
Last: Nathaniel Dawson

NewsblogRoyals: Making Contact and Winning Championships
(12 - 4:57pm, Nov 27)
Last: Fancy Pants with a clinging marmoset on his Handle

NewsblogAlex Avila lands with Chicago White Sox
(9 - 3:51pm, Nov 27)
Last: RMc is organizationalwide!

Page rendered in 0.1572 seconds
47 querie(s) executed